World Cup Play Interrupted By Protester Carrying Rainbow Flag

@marioferrifalco

The individual was also wearing a Superman T-shirt with the words “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect for Iranian Woman” on the back. He was pursued and eventually caught by security, who escorted him off the field.

A protester interrupted play at a World Cup match between Portugal and Uruguay on Monday after he ran onto the field waving a rainbow flag.

The individual was also wearing a Superman T-shirt with the words “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect for Iranian Woman” on the back. He was pursued and eventually caught by security, who escorted him off the field.

The individual later identified himself as Mario Ferri, a social media influencer, on his platform. In a post to Instagram, Ferri wrote that his decision to carry the rainbow flag onto the field had been prompted by an incident that occurred earlier this month, when FIFA threatened to card team captains who showed up on the pitch wearing rainbow armbands. 

“FIFA banned captain bands with rainbow and human rights flags on the stands, they blocked everyone BUT NOT ME,” the message read. 

Ferri also wrote that the gesture was “A message for Iran where I have friends who are suffering, where women are not respected,” and a call to “SAVE THE UKRAINE.” 

FIFA, the international governing institute for soccer, has been criticized for allowing Qatar to host the World Cup, given allegations concerning the Gulf nation’s history of human rights abuses, including against LGBTQ+ individuals.  

The World Cup organizing committee announced in a statement reported by the AP that Ferri “has been banned from attending future matches at this tournament” as a result of his actions. 


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